LIQUORICE Glycyrrhiza glabraPrepared by Naveen.M.N PHK-820
INTRODUCTION Glycyrrhiza glabra, a hardy perennial herb Family : Papilionaceae Roots are very sweet, in English popularly call it liquorice. In greek glycyrrhiza means 'Sweet Root'. In India known as Jethimadh, Yasthimadhu, Jesthimadhu or Mulahati. Drug - Dried peeled and unpeeled underground stems and roots. Its extract contains 5-20 per cent glycyrrhizin (saponin like glycoside) which has healing effect on peptic ulcers. Also contains coumarine compounds herniarin and umbelliferone and flavours liquiritin, liquiritigenin, isoli-quirtin and isoliquiritigenin. The glycosides liquiritoside, isoliquiritoside are also present.
USES Demulscent, mildly laxative, expectorant and is an important constituent of all cough syrups, throat lozenges and pastilles. Mustong, a preparation in which one of the constituent is G.glabra, improves sexual inadequacy. It is also known for analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsionary effect. Large quantities of liquorice is used in confectionary and in tobacco blending. The extract is reported to give sparkle and aroma to beer.
ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION Origin - Regions from Southern Europe to Pakistan and Northern India. Distribution - Sub-tropical and warm temperature regions particularly in Western China, parts of Asia Minor, Persia, Afghanistan, warmer parts of Mediterranean region of North Africa, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Syria, Hungary, Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Spain and China. Import substitute attempts - Baramulla, Srinagar, Jammu, Dehradun, Delhi, Anand, Indore and Bangalore. India is importing the drug on considerable scale (500010000 t) from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma and Singapore.
BOTANY2n=16. Perennial herb or under shrub, height 1-2 m with long cylindrical burrowing rootstock and horizontal creeping solons, which are 1.5-1.8 m in length. Leaves - Alternate, pinnate with 9-17, ovate, yellow green leaflets about 2.5-5.0 cm long. Flowers are borne in erect, axillary, long spikes, usually 10-15 cm long, lavender to purple in color and 1.25 cm long. The seed pods are maroon, 3 cm long, oblong, pointed, flattened and contains 2-4 kidney-shaped seeds. The plant is self-pollinated. Root system - Highly branched and confined to upper crust of the soil, it consists of a short rap root with large number of rhizomes.
SPICES AND VARIETIESa) Glycyrrhiza glabra var. typica called Spanish liquorices, height of 120 to 150 cm bears typical papilionaceous flowers of a purplish blue colour. The underground portion - Long roots and thin rhizomes. Concentration of glycoside 6-10 per%. Cultivated in Spain, Italy, England, France, Germany and the U.S.S.R. Fetches higher price in the market, sweetest of all. b) Glycyrrhiza glabra var. glandulifera called as `Russian liquorices . the root system is shallow, but grows into a large stock, the rhizomes grow for a long distance without stolan development. It is rich in Glycyrrhizin (10-14%), bitterness (presence of liquiritin and isoliquiritin)
Glycyrrhiza glabra var. typica
Glycyrrhiza glabra var. glandulifera
c) Glycyrrhiza glabra var. violaceae Boiss: This is called `Persian liquorice'. It bears violet flowers, grown in Iran and Iraq in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. The plant produces thick, hard and lumpy roots and is considered inferior in quality.
VARIETIES `Haryana Mulhati No.1' (Russian collection EC-111236) from Haryana Agriculture University. It has long, broad and dark green leaves. Produces approximately 200 cm long roots at harvest. Resistant to the leaf spot disease. 70-80 q/ha of roots at 3 years age with 7.5 per cent glycyrrhizin acid. An accession EC-21950 identified at AICRP on MAP tolerant to rootrot disease.
SOIL REQUIREMENTS 1 m soil depth. Loamy soils of light texture, pH of 6 to 8.2. Deep moist soils, on the banks of rivers subject to periodical inundation are also suitable. Can withstand salinity without affecting its growth and active principles.
CLIMATE REQUIREMENTS warm and dry subtropical climate with well defined winters to induce the translocation of food to the rhizomes. Heavy rains or frost affects growth adversely. 50-100 cm rainfall annually supported with irrigation.
PROPAGATION seeds, cuttings by root and stem and by tissue culture. SEED PROPAGATION Seldom practiced because of germination problem. Treatment of seeds with 0.0025 to 0.005% succinic acid combined with scarification (in sand) increased germination. 15 cm apart in raised nursery beds (1x3 m) Germination starts after 15 days and is completed within a month 10-15 cm height plants are planted in the main field.
TISSUE CULTURE Axillary bud culture reported. The technique has also been standardized for transplanting testtube grown plantlets to field.
CLONAL PROPAGATION Utilizing the cuttings prepared from the old crowns of the lifted roots cut into pieces of 10-15 cm long (traditional method ). Runners or underground stems - Prepared into cuttings of 10 cm long, each having 2 buds. These cuttings are kept in the moist sphagnum mass for about 8-10 days and afterwards when their buds start sporting they are planted in the main field.
PREPARATION OF MAIN FIELD AND PLANTING Uprooting of the plant - October-November (moves the soil to a depth of 80 to 100 cm). planting ridges 60 cm wide and 30 cm apart are marked out Planting time - March or early April. The setts are planted in groups of 3 at the spacing 30 cm in rows. The crowns are covered with 5 to 7 cm of wet soil. Dry conditions at planting time and for the next months are best. If cold weather prevails in May or June, 20 to 40% of the sets fail to grow.
Manures and fertilizers Compost or FYM - 10-15 t/ha. 40:40:20 kg NPK/ha per year (in the form of urea, SSP, MOP). Of these, full dose of SSP and MOP. Nitrogen is applied in three split doses ie at planting, after six months and one year of growth, respectively. Same dose has to be applied for 3 years.
Irrigation Regularly irrigate until the cuttings strike roots and establish. Later, 8-10 days for 5-6 months and afterwards as and when required. Once the plants are established, crop is fairly drought resistant.
INTERCROPPING AND WEEDING Growth is slow during the first 2 years. Thus intercropping by carrots, potatoes or cabbage The field is hoed periodically to keep down the weeds.
PESTS Termites - More damage to young plants during dry period. Control - Alderx or 5 per cent chlordane dust at the rate of 25 to 30 kg per ha given during last ploughing/ harrowing Cotton ash weevil (Myllocerus udecimpunctatus) causes injury to leaves (controlled spraying Metasystox @1.5 ml/lit).
DISEASES Root rot disease. Roots and stolans turn soft and pulpy. Control - Five kg per ha Brassicol (or drenching of the soil with Bordeaux mixture) or brassicol @ 5 kg/ha is applied during February. Rhizoctonia bataticola, Sclerotium spp. and Fusarium spp. causes root-rot, collar rot and wilt diseases. Soil treatment/arial spray of Bavistin or Benlate (0.05%). Cercospora cavarae causes leaf spot. Control - Spray 0.4 per cent Bavistin. One protective spray at 1/2 to 2 months after planting. Alternaria tenuis, Phyllosticta glycyrrhizae. Uromyces glycyrrhizae causes leaf rust. Control - spraying of Blitox (0.2%) 3 to 4 times at interval of 5 days.
Harvesting Ready for uprooting in 3 to 4 years and just before the plants have borne fruit. Plants are lifted in autumn (November-December) after rains. A trench 60 cm deep is first dug at the side of ridges, then by working inwards, the soil is loosened from the roots so that they can be pulled out easily. The aerial parts are cut and removed. Broken root parts left in the soil throw out new sprouts in spring. The gaps need to be filled by rooted cuttings for succeeding crop.
PROCESSING Roots and underground stems are cut into pieces-15 to 20 cm long and 1 to 2 cm in diameter and are dried alternately in shade and sun. Drying process reduces the weight to 50% and the moisture from 50 to 60%. YIELD An yield of 5t/ha, plus 14-20 tonnes of trimmings. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION Principal constituent glycyrrhizin having characteristic sweet taste Other constituents are glucose (3.8%), sucrose (6.5%), starch, asparagine, resins, volatile oil (0.03 - 0.06%) and colouring matter isoliquoricin.